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Superheroes and Super Fumbles: The Week's Must Reads in Parenting

Published on: December 30, 2013

obamasThe president was sworn in (I know it's sexist and cliché, blah blah blah, but damn didn't the FLOTUS and those two adorable daughters look so beautifully coordinated?!); our children celebrated the lasting impact of Martin Luther King Jr.; and of course there was some more mommy bickering about what makes a real parent and what doesn't. Just another week in the parenting trenches. In news of breeder and family interest:

Speaking of Obama, last week the president introduced the broadest gun control legislation we've seen in America in recent decades. And according to Lisa Belkin, this push could be different ... it could work ... because the people behind it this time are parents. True? (We'd love you to voice your opinion at

Oops, we did it again. Everyone (OK not all of us, only some parents of only children plus those who have time to monitor these types of important events) freaked out when Elizabeth Banks confessed that only after having her second baby did she finally feel like she was "really a mom." Alert, alert, cleanup on aisle Mommy Wars. But while everyone was squealing, the actress' important quote was overlooked. Glad HuffPo covered it because I like what Banks has to say about the bounce-back theory.

Real life superheroes. Many of us re-experienced  the "Lance effect" this past week after the once-Godlike cyclist talked to Oprah about his drugging: We wondered, naturally, what other role models might be phonies, too, and mourned again the loss of an idol. Who will let us down next? This piece, aimed at boys, reminds us that the halls of greatness stretch far and wide, and all we need to do to find our heroes — any sort of hero — is to look.

Father goes to Washington ... and comes home. An unexpected read on work-life balance from a papa back from the campaign trail and re-integrated to the daily parenting world of lost shoes and pre-adolescent struts.

Can autism be outgrown? Some new research suggests maybe, but experts caution such recovery is rare. Read more about the study and how research on autism could impact treatment options.

This is heavy (maybe). Dara-Lynn Weiss drew the ire of women when she was featured last year in Vogue as the not-playing-around mother who restricted her chubby 7-year-old daughter's calories and spoke bluntly about it, and now her memoir is out. Is the book "a 240-page attempt at image repair"or the brave personal story of one mom trying to do something about her daughter's weight in a culture of obesity?

And back to the dress choice. True, with so many global issues demanding our attention, it seems silly to spend even one stocking's length of time discussing the fashion choices of politicians and their families. But maybe we need these tiny moments of frivolity. Indeed, "inaugural dresses are not just casual cultural relics," Amy Davidson reminds us. "To disagree is to dismiss the idea that politics involves theatre."

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